You are welcome to provide feedback on any aspect of the project you wish. We are keen to get specific feedback on three important areas in particular.

  1. Do you agree with the methodology used to develop the GCH?

The research team has suggested a number of modifications to the Statistics New Zealand Urban Accessibility Classification in order to create a new fit for purpose taxonomy, the Geographic Classification for Health. The modifications involve identifying appropriate travel time cut-points to reorganise the categories, as well as identifying and reclassifying major anomalies.

The methodology and the justification for each of the modifications is contained in a separate document  A Geographic Classification for Health (GCH) based on logical modifications to the Statistics NZ Urban Accessibility Classification. You are welcome to read the entire document but the executive summary at the start of the document should provide the essential information you need.

  1. Do you think we have identified the correct threshold between rural and urban communities?
  • Do you agree that Timaru, Blenheim, Whakatane, and Masterton should be classified as urban, or do you think they should be rural?
  • Do you have an opinion as to whether Tauranga should be included in the U1 or the U2 category?
  1. Do you think the 25 minute travel time cut-point surrounding urban areas captures a population that has similar access to health services as those living in the core urban area it surrounds?
  2. Do you think the 25 minute, 60 minute and 120 minute travel times minute thresholds differentiate populations that have significantly different health service needs because of their rurality/remoteness
  3. Do you think we have too many or too few categories?


  1. Do the maps ‘make sense on the ground’?

The classification needs ‘face validity’. It must make sense to those with an on the ground understanding of NZ rural health services and rural communities. The classification should group together in the same category those communities that have similar (or should have similar) healthcare; both with respect to the type of services they access and the how they access them. We are interested in how well you think the proposed models achieve this based on your knowledge of rural communities and health services. Version 1 is the research teams preferred model because of the rationale that underpins the modifications that were used to develop it.

  1. The classification should group ‘like with like’ into the same category while at the same time maximising the differences between categories. How well do you think we have achieved this, in NZ as a whole and in the parts of NZ you are most familiar with?
  2. Can you see major anomalies that need addressed?
  3. Is version 1 your preferred model or do you think that one of the alternative versions presented has higher face validity?”
  4. Will the classification meet your needs as an end user?

This is part of an ongoing co-design process. Thank you for any feedback, but feel free to make further suggestions, ask questions and otherwise engage directly with members of the research team via this blog or directly. The co-design process relies on the continued input of stakeholders. We will make changes to the GCH based on in an iterative process based on the ongoing feedback we receive.


Please contact by email (Research Nurse for the project) or comment in the feedback posts.


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